Estate workers to protest water tank construction

[TamilNet, Monday, 15 November 2004, 11:50 GMT]
"Unless construction of a tank in the Bandarawela Farm Estate is completely stopped, all workers of not only the Estates in the Badulla District but the entire Plantation sector will rise against it," warned Badulla District Parliamentarian and Asst. Secretary of the The Ceylon Workers congress (CWC), Vadivel Suresh at a media conference held at Badulla Holiday Inn Hotel, Sunday.

Mr Vadivel said, "The Sri Lanka Government has taken steps to construct a tank in the Farm estate, making a confluent of all the surrounding waterways. Thanks to the strong protest made by the CWC work on the tank remains suspended.

"Construction of a tank in the Farm Estate will do immense harm to theworkers. Also, when the sources dry up the tea plants will suffer without water, and workers will be forced to stop vegetable gardening and livestock raising. Hence we can not permit construction of the tank.

"It is clear that the objective behind the construction of the tank is thefurther economic upliftment of the rural folks at the expense of the Estate workers. If construction is proceeded with, disregarding the workers' strong protests, workers will take to the streets to block it .

"We cannot permit not only construction of the tank but also intrusion of the waterways by outsiders. The water requirement of the plantation community will have to be met, and no one has any right to deny this need. I brought this to the notice of all concerned at the recent meeting of the Bandarawela Divisional Co-ordinating Commitee and they all accepted my demand.

"I have informed the Minister of Irrigation, Badulla District M.P. and Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva, the Uva Province Chief Minister and the Provincial Minister of Irrigation. If this is not heeded all development activity in the plantation sector will grind to a halt."

 

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